January 31, 2013

Primal Pizza

(This is the Greek pizza--our current favorite.)

I've tried many different recipes for cauliflower pizza crusts over the years. This is the one I've concocted--taking a little of this and a little of that from different recipes--that is perfect for us and what my family enjoys the most.
Primal Pizza:
(Crust for 2 pizzas)
16oz. frozen cauliflower, cooked and drained
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 eggs
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp garlic powder

1. Combine all of the above ingredients in a food processor.

2. Spread the "dough" onto pizza stones using a spatula (if you're using a pan, lay out parchment paper, first, then spread it on) until about 1/4" thick.
3. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. (If the edges are begininning to brown, it's time to take it out!) Variation: For the margherita and greek pizzas, take out of the oven after 18 minutes and use a basting brush to distribute the oil mixture on the crust. Continue to bake for 3-7 more minutes. When the edges of my crust get golden-brown, take it out.
4. Spread with sauce, (if applicable) cheese, and other toppings. Broil on high for 2-3 minutes until cheese is beginning to bubble/pepperoni is cooked to your desire.

Traditional Pizza Sauce:

(Makes enough for 4 pizzas.)
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, mix together tomato sauce and tomato paste until smooth. Stir in seasonings. (If you’re not using it all, bag it up in individual baggies and freeze for later.) Spread on pizza and top accordingly.

Margherita Pizza

(per pizza)2 Tbs. olive oil1/2 tsp. garlic powderpinch of sea salt

Whisk together until mixed thoroughly. (See the variation in Step 3 above on when to add this.) When done baking, add the following:

5-6 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
shredded mozzarella cheese
1  teaspoon  balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup  thinly sliced fresh basil (if i don't have this, I just sprinkle with dried basil, though fresh does taste better)
sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Arrange tomato slices on crust, lining the edges. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Top with basil. Put back in the oven and broil for 2-3 minuts on high until cheese is bubbling and turning golden.
Combine oil and vinegar, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over the pizza. And sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Greek Pizza 

(per pizza)
2 Tbs. olive oil 
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. italian seasonings (oregano, basil and parsley)
pinch of sea salt

Whisk together until mixed thoroughly. (See the variation in Step 3 above on when to add this.) When done baking, add the following:

Tomatoes, diced
Olives, diced
Banana Peppers, diced
Red onions, diced

Feta cheese
Parmesan (optional)

January 25, 2013

Paleo Chicken "Noodle" Soup

It's what {was} for dinner in our house tonight. All four kids have some sort of infection (ears, throat, lungs, etc.) and this is the perfect dinner when you're feeling under the weather. This tastes just like chicken noodle soup: it's mild, light on the tummy and comforting.  (My sister passed this on, based off this recipe, after her kids gave it their approval...and my kids have agreed that it's one of their favorite soups.)

Like most real-food meals, it does require a bit of prep work, but if you can plan ahead for it, it's not too bad.

Paleo Chicken "Noodle" Soup
fat of choice (coconut oil, butter, olive oil, etc.)
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. oregano
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 large onion, diced
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 whole soup chicken, cooked and shredded (Yonder Way Farm)
2 lbs butternut squash  (pre-peeled and cubed from Sam's or Costco)
1 head of cauliflower, riced (I like to do this at the beginning of the week, when I try to prep all my veggies at once, if so this makes it a lot easier. If you don't know how to rice a cauliflower, see step 1, here.)
1 large can of diced tomatoes (28oz)
6-8 cups chicken bone broth (Make your own...I keep them in my freezer in Mason jars and let them thaw out the morning I use it.)

1. Start cooking/boiling your chicken. (When I boil my chicken, it's always seems to dry. So, I put mine in a crockpot on low for 6 hours (for a small, whole soup chicken, 8 hours for a large whole chicken) covered with salt and pepper. Nothing else in the crockpot. Just the chicken. You might be worried that it's going to be really dry. It's actually the opposite. My friend Meredith told me how to do it this way. It's amazingly moist and simple.)

2. Steam the butternut squash for about 10 minutes until barely tender. Remove half the squash onto a plate. Allow the remaining squash to simmer for about 5 more minutes. Then, drain water and mash this squash with the back of a fork. Set aside. (I usually use the same plate: half with cubed squash, half with mashed squash.)

3. Melt fat of choice in the bottom of a large pot. Saute onion for about 8 minutes and add the garlic for a few more minutes. Add riced cauliflower, cook for about 5 minutes. (I also usually add the broth that was at the bottom of my crockpot from cooking the whole chicken at this point. If you didn't do that, no big deal, you'll add the broth in a little bit.) While all this is happening, shred your chicken on a plate.

4. Add tomatoes, all of the butternut squashed (mashed and cubed), and shredded chicken. Pour all spices and seasonings over the top of the chicken. Add the 6-8 cups of broth. And allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

January 2, 2013

The Girls' General (Paleo) Stir Fry...

It's named "Girls' General Stir Fry" b/c McKlayne helped as the official "taste-tester" and "ingredient adder" as I've made several adjustments to a General Tso's recipe to "paleo-fy" it and get it just right over the last year. McKlayne gave me high-fives all throughout this meal as she commented on how good this was.

Several things that I love about this meal: I love that this meal is PACKED with tons of veggies. I love that it makes PLENTY of leftovers, even for all of our big eaters!  (It's really good the next day for lunch!) And I love that I can actually prep most of this meal earlier that day (or even earlier in the week) to make a quick dinner to throw together.  (I actually riced my cauliflower the day I bought it and kept it in the fridge for 5 days before making this meal. If I prep the broccoli and carrots, too, this meal is pretty simple...it just takes some time to cook in batches since it makes so much.) This makes clean-up much easier and cuts down on time in the kitchen. If you don't prepare all your veggies before-hand this could take about an hour or longer to prepare and cook...but maybe that's just  because of my four little "interruptions" as I frequently have to take breaks to referee or move them on to something else to keep the babies "busy".

Okay...onto the recipe:

2 heads of cauliflower, riced
4-5 cups broccoli (I use raw, but I'm sure frozen would be fine, too.)
5 large carrots, sliced into rounds
1 large onion, cut into large chunks (like you would for a stir fry)
3 chicken breasts (cut into bite size chunks, seasoned with paprika, chili powder, s&p)
Plus the sauce ingredients listed in Step 2.

1. Begin by "ricing" 2 heads of raw cauliflower: Remove stems and leaves, and chop florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like rice. (I find it much easier to pulverize the cauliflower in several batches.  It's less messy AND I have better control over the consistency.  I like mine to look like large feta cheese crumbles....any smaller and I think it gets too mushy.) I usually set my processor on a 1-2 (out of 6) and pulverize away. Set riced cauliflower aside.

2. Then, prepare the sauce. (Half this if you're making a smaller portion.) Whisk the following together thoroughly in a small saucepan: 

2 cups Chicken Broth 
1/2 cup raw honey
1/4 cup Coconut Aminos
 (this is to replace soy sauce..it's wheat and soy free)
1/4 cup apple juice (sherry wine or white wine...I actually had some of this and none of the others, so I used the apple juice)

1/8 cup apple cider vinegar 
1/8 cup lemon juice

1-2 tsp garlic chili sauce (optional: my kids don't mind the spice, but if your kids are sensitive, you can cut it out...if you cut it, make sure you add some garlic powder, maybe 1 tsp.)

Let all of this begin to simmer and then add: 1/4 cup arrowroot powder with 1/4 cup of water, for thickening. Simmer, allowing the sauce to thicken a bit. Turn heat to low.  

3. While the sauce is simmering, prepare the chicken: Melt a couple tablespoons of coconut oil in a large pan on medium heat and brown all sides of meat. Once the chicken is starting to brown, turn heat down to med-low and steam for a few minutes until done. When it's done, transfer it to a large serving bowl where you will combine all the stir-fry. (While chicken is cooking, get started on the veggies.) If I had a large electric skillet, I'd probably do all the veggies in this (and use it in place of my "serving bowl"), but I don't so I have to make it in my largest pan and do a couple batches.
4. Cover bottom of hot pan with coconut oil and fry cauliflower. This may take about 10 minutes or so. When you think it's done, taste a little bit...if it still tastes cauliflower-y then cook it a little longer until it doesn't taste like much (kinda like rice.) When it's done, dump it in your serving bowl.
5. Add about 1/4 cup of the stir-fry sauce to your large pan and pour in the rest of the veggies (broccoli, carrots and onion) and cover for about 10 minutesOccasionally stir everything together, until veggies reach desired "done-ness".  Transfer everything to the huge serving bowl with the "rice" and chicken, mixing together well.
6. Dish out individual servings of the stir-fry and top with desired amount of sauce. Enjoy your stir-fry! 

If you liked this, you may enjoy this even easier go-to-dish: Pork Fried Rice.